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One in Four Americans Will Be Aged 60 or Older By 2050, UN Says

The over 60 population will reach one billion within the next ten years according to a new report highlighting the aging of societies around the world. Although developing countries are expected to experience the biggest jump, all countries must prepare for the challenges posed by a rapidly aging population.

According to the report, released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and HelpAge International in collaboration with over twenty United Nation organizations, the number of centenarians will increase from 316,600 in 2011 to 3.2 million in 2050 while the number of people with dementia will double to 65.7 million in 2030. By 2050, the United States specifically can expect 8 percent of its population to be over age 80, while 26 percent will be age 60 or older.

Given this large population shift, the report also explores problems experienced by seniors around the globe and emphasizes actions that can improve the quality of life of older adults. The report cites ageism and elder abuse as major problems that will only become more prevalent as the population ages. The taboo nature of these topics makes it that much more difficult to address, so the report suggests education of both elected officials and the general public on methods to combat ageism and elder abuse.

The report also prioritizes investing in senior care options that allow seniors to age in place. Countries should support family caregivers and promote community-based programs and services that supplement traditional family care as well as long term care options that serve as alternatives to family caregiving. Accessible communities with assistive technologies are also an important part of affording seniors as much dignity and security as possible.

Learn more about the UNFPA’s recommendations and research in the report: Ageing In The 21st Century: A Celebration And A Challenge

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